Have you every been at a party, bar or restaurant with friends and someone asked you, “why aren’t you drinking?” If you are going to be sober in a place that most people are having alcohol, you may have to justify yourself for standing out or going against the norm. I’m going to teach you how to do that in a way that stands firm to your reasoning while helping others feel comfortable with your decision.

Now before we dive into answering that question, it helps to understand WHY someone would ask you that. There could be a few motives for asking…

  1. They’re curious. They care about you and want to know the answer.
  2. They want you to drink so you feel involved and like you’re a part of the group.
  3. By not drinking, you’re actually making them uncomfortable about THEIR decision to drink.

*If you can’t tell why they’re asking you, it’s better to ask them. I like saying, “It’s cool that I’m not drinking, right? Why do you ask?” This gives both of you the chance to openly talk with each other instead of making assumptions.

Now let’s get into it! Once someone asks the dreaded question, Here are some ways I answer, depending on who it is:

If I don’t know them and probably will not see them again

I’m driving tonight, more for you!

If they just want to argue because they assume I’m arrogant or “too good” to drink 

Does me not drinking matter to you?

If they’re a friend and they just want me to be “part of the fun” 

(Tell them the reason why) but I don’t want you to feel like you can’t drink around me. I’m cool just (playing games, dancing, watching movies, etc.) and it will be fun because you’re here.

The reason why I responded differently each time is because some people ask you why you aren’t drinking and don’t really care. Just like when people say, “How are you?” and really have no interest in hearing about your feelings… it’s just a formal or polite thing to ask. But if my friend asks me why I’m not drinking that night, or why I never do, I want to tell them because he or she actually cares and wants to know me better.

How do you answer when people ask, “why aren’t you drinking?”